Griffith: Hinds should prevent crime surge, not just predict it

Instead of Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds saying that he expects an increase in crime after the State of Emergency (SoE) ends tomorrow, he should focus and prevent any upsurge in illegal activities.

Sharing his opinion during the Morning Panchayat on Aakash Vani 106.5 FM yesterday, former Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith said he believes Hinds is the only minister in the world to forecast a crime surge like that.

Hinds recently told i95.5 FM that citizens and some criminals were waiting to exhale from the restrictions of the SoE. However, he assured national security was bracing for the impact of any crime surge.

Griffith said because his name was on a merit list for the next CoP, he would not make any political comment. However, he said he had the utmost trust and confidence in the officers of the Police Service (TTPS) to do the best they can. He said if there is a void in leadership outside the TTPS, there would be issues. 

“This man acted as an OJT for 30 years in preparation to get a senior ministerial position, and that is the comments you would make. It goes hand-in-hand when he made a comment a few weeks ago. He said that only 40 per cent of the Police Service puts out any effort, which obviously affected the Police Service and demoralised the officers,” Griffith said.

Griffith said these officers worked tirelessly from the 2019 Local Government Election into Carnival 2020 and COVID-19 today. He said instead of motivating or trying to inspire officers, Hinds discredited them by saying there is only 40 per cent effort. He said Hinds has no data or anything else to justify his comment. 

Griffith said he remains interested in returning to the TTPS as CoP and this is not because he is looking for a job or something to do. He said he decided to seek another term based on a Nigel Henry poll which showed that 89 per cent of the population wanted him as CoP or had no concern if he remained in the position.

Griffith said he is waiting for the newly-appointed Police Service Commission (PSC) to deliver the merit list to President Paula-Mae Weekes. He said if anyone wants to reject him, they should do it correctly in Parliament.

“It is their right to do so and if that is the case, well then the country now and the persons who do that will bear responsibility for their action. But let it be done using the right process, which is through Parliament. I am just waiting to see if that will take place,” Griffith said.

He also said there was no need for a new merit list, as there was an active one in former PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad’s previous office. 

He said the issue was never the process or the list but that the list never reached Parliament.

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